Key Go-To-Market Tactics and Trends Happening Now
ABM/ABX 03.01.2022

Key Go-To-Market Tactics and Trends Happening Now

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This episode of Sunny Side Up brings the latest and greatest data from McKinsey & Co., where guest Liz Harrison is a partner specializing in all things B2B marketing and commercial growth. She provides insights from recently released research that will shape how B2B decision makers choose to interact with customers going forward. The number of available sales and marketing channels has exploded, which has crowded and complicated the field. Liz sorts out where resources should be allocated (which generally follows what she calls “the rule of thirds”) and why, despite huge leaps in e-commerce adoption, the “personal touch” still matters. You’ll also be interested to hear about how companies best leverage data analytics and what key leadership style elements many “super-executives” share. 

About the Guest

Liz helps the world’s largest B2B organizations across industries achieve sustained growth, and advises on sales and marketing strategy. She is an expert on go-to-market approaches, especially through complex channel dynamics, grounded in her deep understanding of evolving customer preferences. She spends her time tackling the toughest sales and marketing challenges, such as evolving the sales motion, balancing a direct-to-customer e-commerce channel with a strong dealer network, and setting up a new marketing organization and operating model for success. Liz serves as the global leader of the B2B Pulse, McKinsey’s industry-leading research on B2B decision-maker preferences. She is at the forefront of how customer demands are changing and what the implications are for B2B sales and marketing. She leads a global team that deeply researches and understands how thousands of B2B decision makers want to interact with suppliers and how sales and marketing are changing around the globe. In this role, Liz is a frequent speaker and content contributor through events, podcasts, and interviews.

 Connect with Liz Harrison

Key Takeaways

  • A round of applause for go-to-market team members, who are often unsung! The stakes are higher than ever. 
  • The “rule of thirds” for B2B sales is entrenched as a universal truth: B2B buyers want in-person, remote (e.g., video conference), and self-service (e.g., e-commerce) channels in equal measure. 
  • There is a path forward and clear roadmap to move from executive to “super-executive”

Highlights From the Episode

Liz gives a snapshot of the current go-to-market.

A typical B2B customer interacts with a supplier through ten or more channels today compared with fewer than half that number just a few years ago. It’s a “complex journey orchestration” from initial consideration to purchase and, ideally, becoming a loyal customer. 

Liz shares key findings from the Global B2B Pulse

The Global B2B Pulse surveyed nearly 3,500 B2B decision makers in December 2021 across 12 markets around the globe and in major industries, from tech to industrials to finance (and 21,000+ decision makers since 2016). 

  • The consumerization of B2B is here. B2B customers are adopting buying habits from the consumer side, rewarding personalization and omnichannel experiences with 20 percent of B2B decision makers willing to spend between $500,000 and $5 million USD on a single remote or self-service transaction
  •  More channels equal more growth. 72 percent of B2B companies that sell using seven or more channels grew their market share at a significantly faster rate. As customers redefine convenience and experience, they’re engaging across ten or more channels across the buying journey.
  •   Be where the customers are. The “rule of thirds” is entrenched into the sales process as B2B sellers must effectively utilize traditional sales, remote, and self-service. Across 12 markets, only France and Japan served as outliers with lower levels of omnichannel adoption and lowest perceived effectiveness.
  •   Loyalty is up for grabs. Nearly 80 percent of B2B customers say performance guarantee is a must – otherwise they will take their business elsewhere.
  •   A higher return on personalization. Companies that offer the most tailored 1:1 outreach are 1.7x more likely to have gained market share compared to those who deliver only moderate personalization efforts. 

Key elements of executive leadership. 

  • Sustainable speed: Sustainable speed is such an important attribute. But speed itself is not enough. It’s speed, combined with a very clear sense of direction, enables leaders to operate swiftly and decisively, even in complex and uncertain environments. 
  • Purpose: The best growth leaders enable and empower their teams and organizations to find their active purpose and thrive. They clearly articulate their values and what they stand for.

Some of the tactics associated with being a “super-executive.”

  • Successful executives are deeply involved with their customers, researching what they need and communicating the results to the wider organization. 
  • They keep laser-focused, limiting initiatives so they can cut through the noise and avoid being overwhelmed by myriad competing priorities.

Liz shares thoughts on how to cull the best information and avoid the chaff.

She has a few trusted go-to sources, including McKinsey content generated about adjacent consumer trends. She finds Emily Oster’s newsletter a tremendous source of data-driven parenting wisdom in the personal realm. Liz, herself, also circulates content among colleagues, who in turn share their own personally curated information. 

Recommended Reading/Resources


Arun Arora –  Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

Jennifer Stanley – Partner, McKinsey & Company


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